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How the Nationals use analytics

Mar 28, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT


Setting aside how old it makes me feel to hear that a team employee read Tom Tango’s “The Book” “while growing up,” these two stories — here and here — from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post is a fascinating peek into how the Washington Nationals — a team always characterized as “scouting-first” use advanced metrics and analytics in their baseball operations department.

Shock of shocks: they use scouting and sabermetrics. It’s almost as if those two things can work together rather than be the zero-sum game some old school columnists would have you believe.

Sad part, though: the analyst intern Kilgore talks with says that, while they like to see third party predictive analysis and thus look at a lot of websites like FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus, there is no mention whatsoever of the Nationals reading HardballTalk’s Best Shape of His Life reporting. I mean, what else do you need to know about how a guy is gonna do? Call me, dudes. I’ll totally hip you to that area of analysis.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Very interesting stuff. All of the best organizations value both scouting and stats, they work hand in hand. Using statistical analysis is definitely a part of scouting efficiently in the modern environment.

    And as the Phillies’ domination of Nebraska shows, sometimes it’s still about who you know.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      And all the very, very best organizations review the comments input on HBT as well.

  2. crispybasil - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    “there is no mention whatsoever of the Nationals reading HardballTalk’s Best Shape of His Life reporting.”

    Why reveal the secret ingredient to their current success?

  3. royhobbs39 - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    The square root of WAR plus OPS+ divided by Grit level plus BSOHL multiplied by Jeter gift baskets equals the HBTCCBIL (HardBallTalk Craig Calcaterra Blogman Impact Level).

  4. chacochicken - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I think they should have pitched to the score with article and say the secret to our success is having Scott Boras tell us how valuable a players is. That would be some serious ironic snark.

  5. Francisco (FC) - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Taken from the second link, third paragraph.

    First off, they are not two guys in a broom closet pounding away (snip)

    I love snipping sentences and taking away the context.

  6. natstowngreg - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    Craig, given your trolling record, why on earth would Mike Rizzo call you? (Or, for that matter, why would Ruben Amaro call you?)

    A key reason why I enjoy Adam Kilgore’s coverage of the Nats is that he can balance the people with the numbers.

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